With the impact of the credit crunch growing every day, buyers of used cars need to pay particular attention to the possibility of vehicle fraud.
Car buyers should beware of vehicles being sold with finance outstanding; the seller may have no intention of paying off the finance.
Here at Neighbourhoodwatch.net we've teamed up with the people from HPI the recognised experts when it comes to protecting consumers from vehicle fraud.
HPI has been checking the histories of used cars for the motor trade since 1938, and supports car dealers, finance houses and the insurance industry with access to information on all UK registered vehicles.
In 1993 the 'HPI Check' became available to the general public.
Read (below) the advice from the experts at HPI when buying a used car.
Don't buy a car that still has finance owed on it
If you buy a car with finance outstanding, then you stand a real risk of losing the car and the money you paid for it as the finance company can legally repossess it.
A good way to stop this from happening to you is to conduct an HPI Check, or, if you are buying from a dealer, making sure that they have carried out an HPI Check.
It costs from £19.99 to conduct an HPI Check. The service is available online from www.hpicheck.com
. You get your results immediately in a simple to read format which you can then print and keep with your vehicle documents. If you prefer you can call 0845 300 8905, you will be talked through your results and an email will be sent to you confirming all the information you need.
One in three cars has something to hide!
Finance isn't the only issue you need to watch out for. If the car you are looking at has been written off by an insurance company, an HPI Check can tell you what category of write-off the car is and whether it was safe to be repaired or whether it should have been scrapped. At best this could save you from paying over the odds, at worst it could save you from buying a potential death trap.
An HPI Check will
- Tell you if a vehicle has outstanding finance
- Confirm if a vehicle is recorded as stolen HPI discovers 30 stolen vehicles every day.
- Reveal if it has been an insurance write-off.
- Protect you against clocking five out of every 100 checked by HPI has a mileage discrepancy.
- Tell you if the vehicle has had a plate transfer.
- Confirm the vehicle description as registered with the DVLA.
- Check a vehicle's documentation, using our unique document check.
- Will give you a market valuation for the car, this is based on the retail price you should expect to pay from a dealer.
- Guarantee the information provided - offering cover of up to £30,000.
The Buyer's Essential Check List
If you do nothing else do the following:-
- Get an HPI Check provide us with the Vehicle Registration Number and Vehicle Identification Number.
- Always view the car in daylight, at the seller's address
- Look for signs of clocking excessive wear on the steering wheel or foot pedals and seats are all clues.
- Check that all the documents match up and validate the details in the V5 registration document
- Take a test drive on a variety of roads for at least 10 miles
- Get a mechanical inspection
If you feel something's not right - walk away. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Be suspicious if...
- The seller only gives a mobile number
- The seller insists on meeting you away from their own home
- The seller's name is different to that of the registered keeper.
- The seller insists you pay cash
- The car costs less than 70% of the market value
To find out more about the HPI Check, click here